There is a lot of Automotive Engineering work done to design, build and maintain vehicles, both on race tracks and on the road.
If you want to be one of those people who want to focus your time and expertise on cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, ATVs, or even racing vehicles, we have listed the best Automotive Engineering Universities for you.
Types of Automotive Engineering courses
Depending on what you want to do, there are a variety of degrees, certificates, and diplomas you can earn.
Most certificates and degrees you earn will allow you to work in a business, while degrees that require four years or more take you to more managerial or senior positions, including design and research.
Automotive engineering degrees may be rare, but there are several institutions that place more emphasis on vehicles.
Most often you will see a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering, but many colleges and universities also offer a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering, possibly with majors or specializations in Automotive fields or subjects.
One of the first things you want to do is figure out if you really want to work exclusively on vehicles.
Automotive/Automotive Engineering deals with the design, manufacture, and operation of motorcycles, cars, and trucks.
Mechanical engineering branches into any mechanical system, making it the most comprehensive degree in the field of engineering.
While it covers some vehicle-specific details, it will also cover Aerospace, Metallurgy, Construction, Electrical, Chemical, Manufacturing, Industrial, and even Biomedical Engineering.
The difference between an Automotive Engineer and an Auto Mechanic
Both are necessary in the car world but work at different stages of the game.
When it comes to vehicle design, updating existing features, research, and development, Automotive Engineers deal with this aspect of the automotive world.
Once a vehicle is used by the consumer, it is serviced by Auto Mechanics who work in garages, dealerships, and auto parts stores.
Best Automotive Engineering Courses Universities
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s get into this list! Institutions are ranked by acceptance rate, with their top offerings in bold. So go see if you can find a match.
Montana State University-Northern
Acceptance rate: 100%
Students enrolled at Montana State University-Northern learn from master ASE-certified technicians and may enter the automotive technology program and earn a bachelor’s, associate or lower degree.
The university also offers industry-sponsored technical training for Ford, Subaru, and light vehicle maintenance and repair.
On the other hand, MSU-Northern offers an ABET-accredited Mechanical Engineering degree.
Weber State University
Acceptance rate: 100%
At Weber State University, the Department of Automotive Technology offers several degrees and certificates to choose from, including a BA in Field Service Operations and Advanced Vehicle Systems. Students can also pursue an associate degree at ATEP Independent Shop or Heavy Duty Trucks.
Weber also awards two certificates, one in Automotive Service Technology and one in Industrial Hybrids.
Utah Valley University
Acceptance rate: 100%
Utah Valley University’s Department of Transportation Technology offers courses in Automotive Engineering, Collision Mechanics, Road Driving, and Motorsports, and offers associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas at all levels.
To fund scholarships for UVU Transportation Technologies students, UVU organizes a car show.
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University of Northwestern Ohio
Acceptance rate: not available
At Northwestern Ohio University, students in the College of Applied Sciences and College of Professional Professions have multiple options to choose from.
UNOH offers bachelor’s, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees in Automotive Engineering with courses taught by ASE-certified instructors and ASE teachers.
Students can also specialize in Automotive Management and High-Performance Automotive Technology.
Idaho State University
Acceptance rate: 99%
For engineers, Idaho State University offers several programs in its College of Science and Engineering.
The Associate of Applied Sciences in Automotive Technology degree and Advanced Technical Certificate in Automotive Technology are just the beginning.
Students can also earn an Associate of Applied Sciences in Automotive Collision Repair and Repaint and three certificate options.
Pittsburgh State University
Acceptance Rate: 87%
Pittsburg State University’s Department of Technology offers a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering at the Kansas Technology Center.
Majors can also choose a major in Automotive Mechanical Design to “dive deep into the study of automobiles from bumper to bumper.”
PSU has 32,000 square feet of automotive lab space, as well as over 40 donated cars and all the tools needed.
Students can take part in the Annual Car Show organized by the local section of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the SAE Baja course that competes with schools around the world, and SkillsUSA.
University of Central Missouri
Acceptance Rate: 86%
The University of Central Missouri offers a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology Management (ATM) that focuses on three areas: Automotive Technology (obviously), Design Technology, and Service Management.
They also offer a small Advanced Vehicle Systems and Automotive Technology Certificate.
Students spend several hours per week in laboratory environments and work in UCM-owned vehicles.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Acceptance rate: 81%
IUPUI’s Purdue School of Engineering & Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in Motoring and is the first US university to offer such a degree.
With a mix of the technical curriculum with vehicle Dynamics, Aerodynamics, Data Acquisition, and more, students are ready and eager to participate in the racing industry.
Students can also opt for a dual degree in Motorsport and Mechanical Engineering for an additional 26 hours of credit.
University of Texas at Arlington
Acceptance Rate: 80%
Based at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering focuses on the design of automobiles, autonomous vehicles, and robots.
Students can use the co-op/internship office to gain hands-on work experience, apply to work in college labs, or join the UTA Racing Formula SAE team.
Students can demonstrate their commitment to the automotive industry with the Automotive Engineering Certificate from the Arnold E. Petsche Center for Automotive Engineering.
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Acceptance Rate: 80%
No matter where you want to go in the automotive industry, Pennsylvania College of Technology has a degree that will interest you.
They offer three Bachelor of Science degrees: Automotive Technology Management (on-campus and online); automotive services, sales and marketing; and Automotive Engineering.
Within the Automotive Technology major, Pennsylvania College of Technology offers three individualized courses for Ford ASSET, Honda PACT, and MOPAR CAP through partnerships with each company.
During their time at Pennsylvania College of Technology, students can earn up to 8 industry certifications, including an ASE certification.
The college also offers an Automotive Service Technician Certificate and an Aftermarket Performance Specialist Certificate of Competence.
Ferris State University
Acceptance Rate: 78%
Ferris State University offers a range of automotive-oriented programs beginning with a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Engineering (AET) and a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Management (AMGT), the second of which can also be considered a minor.
For both undergraduate degrees, students gain hands-on laboratory experience in Metallurgy, Mechanical Testing, Vehicle Emissions, and Dynamometer Testing, as well as an on-the-job internship.
FSU also has two automotive certification programs, one in motorsport and one in Mechanical Engineering.
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Acceptance Rate: 72%
With a combination of theory and practical application, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Automotive Engineering.
SIU-Carbondale has a fleet of 90 latest generation training vehicles and a state-of-the-art Transport Education Center.
Outside of class, students can get involved with the Automotive Technology Organization, the Women in Automotive Transportation Technology (WATT) group, and the Off-Road Club, which received a Jeep Cherokee as a vehicle for the fundraising project.
Acceptance Rate: 70%
Kettering University offers a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a variety of concentrations including Automotive Engineering Design, Advanced Machinery and Materials Design, and Alternative Energy.
Kettering is also home to several laboratories for students to gain hands-on experience, including an Advanced Engine Research Lab, Crash Safety Center, and Power Systems Lab.
The cooperative program also means that students graduate with up to two and a half years of experience.
Brigham Young University Idaho
Acceptance rate: 65%
Brigham Young University in Idaho offers three Bachelor of Science degrees through its Automotive Technology program – Automotive Engineering Technology, Advanced Vehicle Systems, and Automotive Technology Management.
This ASE-certified program requires students to spend significant time in labs and testing courses to gain hands-on experience.
Students can join the SAE Supermileage team, which competes in the SAE Supermileage competition in Marshall, Michigan each year.
For students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, BUY-Idaho does not offer an Automotive concentration, but it can focus on an automotive engineering minor.
Walla Walla University
Acceptance Rate: 65%
Walla Walla University is one of 15 colleges in the country offering a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Engineering or Automotive Management.
Students can gain hands-on experience (PAGA) at University Auto, the on-campus repair shop, as well as unlimited access to the automotive lab and equipment.
On the other hand, Walla Walla also offers an ABET-accredited Mechanical Engineering degree that includes depth electives such as Alternative Energy Systems, Manufacturing Systems, and Optimization, although there is no automotive concentration.
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Acceptance rate: 62%
Minnesota State University-Mankato’s Bachelor of Automotive Engineering Technology (AET) program is designed to prepare students for careers in Research, Product Design and Development, Manufacturing, and Technical Sales in the original equipment and aftermarket industries.
Outside of class, students can join the MSU Drag Race Team and the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Acceptance Rate: 57%
McPherson College runs a unique automotive program – in fact, the only one of its kind in the country.
Focused on automotive restoration, the program focuses on Historic Automotive Technology, Automotive Restoration Management, Automotive Communications, Automotive Restoration Design, and Automotive Restoration Technology.
With a 33,000-square-foot facility at Templeton Hall, students have access to industry-leading, specialized equipment, and tools.
They even have an ambitious goal: MC will be fighting for victory at Pebble Beach Automotive Week until 2023!
Southern Adventist University
Acceptance Rate: 49%
For students interested in becoming an Automotive Mechanic, Southern Adventist University can give its students a distinct advantage.
SAU has a full workshop that repairs cars for the community. All students have the opportunity to take the ASE test and earn industry certification.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Acceptance Rate: 27%
The University of Michigan’s Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by ABET.
The course is a broad study of mechanical engineering, but also includes courses that are necessary for knowledge of the Automotive industry.
The university conducts extensive research on automobiles and has several design teams participating.